Senator Stabenow, HHS Secretary Becerra in Detroit Highlighting Major Reforms to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Senate-Passed Inflation Reduction Act Lowers the Cost of Prescription Drugs, including Insulin, and Health Insurance

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

DETROIT – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra today highlighted major reforms in the recently Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act to lower the cost of prescription drugs. They were joined by Henry Ford Health President and CEO Bob Riney, Dr. Adnan Munkarah, a practicing physician and Henry Ford Health Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, and Medicare recipient Tiffany Crowe.


Senator Stabenow has been a longtime champion in the fight to cut the cost of prescription drugs and was instrumental in including major reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation empowers Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and caps the Medicare out-of-pocket cost of insulin to $35 per month. It also caps Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 per year, and allows people to spread their costs over monthly payments. In addition, it increases help for low-income seniors on Medicare, provides free Medicare coverage of all vaccines, and penalizes drug companies for price hikes in Medicare that exceed the rate of inflation. It also lowers costs for people who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.


“Americans pay the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs and it’s outrageous! To add insult to injury, taxpayers provide hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for the basic research that brings the new drugs to market. That’s why lowering the cost of life-saving medicine has been a major priority for me for years,” said Senator Stabenow. “I am very proud that my Democratic colleagues joined me in standing up to Big Pharma to get Michiganders and all Americans the help they need so they can afford their medicine.”


“No one should have to go without health care or a prescription they need because they can't afford it,” said Secretary Becerra. “As the Secretary of HHS, I am proud that because of the American Rescue Plan and other Biden-Harris Administration efforts, more people than ever before have health insurance coverage. With Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we are on the cusp of even more relief for America’s families when it comes to affording the health care they rely on and deserve.”


“As one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health provides healthcare services across the continuum of care. That includes providing vital and sometimes lifesaving care for the one-third of our patients who receive assistance through Medicare,” said Henry Ford Health President and CEO Bob Riney. “Often, these are some of our most vulnerable patients. We owe it to our Medicare patients to do better and help them afford the care they need.”


“Every day our team of doctors, nurses, and case managers witness the difficulties patients face navigating insurance coverage,” said Adnan Munkarah, M.D., a practicing physician and Henry Ford Health Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer. “When you are doing everything in your power to help patients be well, it is excruciating to see them struggle to pay for the drugs they need.”


“I try to live my life to the fullest. I tell other people with cancer, flipping your point of view from thoughts of dying to thoughts of living helps alleviate the anxiety that comes with thoughts of dying,” said Tiffany Crowe, 34, a patient at the Henry Ford Health Hermelin Brain Tumor Center. “No one deserves the additional anxiety of wondering how you’re going to pay for the care and drugs that help you keep living.”


To learn more about the Inflation Reduction Act, click here.